Friday, July 29, 2022

Persuasion (2022)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Persuasion (2022)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Length: 1h 47min
Rating: PG
Production/Distribution: Bisous Pictures, Fourth & Twenty Eight Films, Mad Chance, Media Rights Capital, Netflix
Director: Carrie Cracknell
Writers: Ron Bass, Alice Victoria Winslow, Jane Austen
Actors: Cosmo Jarvis, Dakota Johnson, Doc Brown, Edward Bluemel, Henry Golding, Izuka Hoyle, Lydia Rose Bewley, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Nikki Amuka Bird, Richard E. Grant, Suki Waterhouse
IMDb Blurb: Eight years after Anne Elliot was persuaded not to marry a dashing man of humble origins, they meet again. Will she seize her second chance at true love?

Cat’s Point of View:
Persuasion was a refreshing change-up from the lineup of my usual fair. I’ve been leaning into action, sci-fi, and horror lately so a romantic drama period piece wouldn’t be the first thing I’d click on in my Netflix listings. I am glad, however, that this title did come up for review today. I rather enjoyed it.
I do feel a disclaimer is needed, upfront, as it were. I have not read the particular Jane Austen novel from which Persuasion was adapted. For that reason, I’m afraid I cannot attest as to whether or not this was a faithful retelling of that story or if it diverged from the original. I have read and enjoyed other Austen works, though; and Persuasion felt like it fit in well with what I would expect.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism for Persuasion based on comparison to the novel’s pacing and tone. I simply haven’t the frame of reference to offer a rebuttal. Thus, my opinion of Persuasion is based solely on my viewing experience.
Persuasion fit right in with the Regency romance sub-genre, which I do love to dabble in now and again. The production as a whole captured the period beautifully – from costume to the setting for each of the areas of England that the story visited. They made good use of these tools to transport me back in time as I watched the story unfold.

I do have to say, however, that I understood where some Regency romance purists might be a bit offended with Persuasion. Some of the dialogue was clearly spruced up a bit with more modern phrasing and idioms to relate to current-day audiences, rather than staying with the more period accurate vernacular. I couldn’t care less, to be honest. I had a moment when some of the dialogue hit me oddly as my brain was coming to terms with the anachronism of what had just happened, and then I was pleased as punch to follow where the film took me. The conversation flowed smoothly, made sense, and helped elevate the entertainment value of the movie, overall, and even likely helped trim the run-time due to the use of fewer extended flowery phrases.
Persuasion’s cast provided stellar performances. I couldn’t point out a single instance where I wasn’t buying into the emotions and story conveyed by each character’s verbal and non-verbal language. You could see the history between Anne and Wentworth in Dakota Johnson (Suspiria, Bad Times at the El Royale, The Lost Daughter) and Cosmo Jarvis’s (The Marker, Hunter Killer, Raised by Wolves) eyes and even micro-expressions.

I also enjoyed that Persuasion was a bit self-aware, and told from Anne Elliot’s perspective as if she were keeping a video diary of her life. Her to-audience narration and asides (even with the corny winks to the camera) sucked me in and I felt like I was part of the conversation. She was confiding her tale to me as if I was there at her side to experience it with her. These sidebars often added to the occasional levity sprinkled through the otherwise heavier story of unrequited love.
Are there better period piece dramas out there? Sure, but Persuasion was good. If you’re looking for something to take you back to “simpler times” and take your mind off of the dumpster fire that is going on both figuratively and literally in the world right now, Persuasion would be a decent choice. It’s fresh and not even one of the novels that have already been re-hashed a billion times over. If you have Netflix and enjoy the genre, I’d definitely recommend it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 31%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 67%
Metascore – 42%
Metacritic User Score – 3.9/10
IMDB Score – 5.6/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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